Laguna Seca: Champion Racing race report

TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING FINISHES THE SEASON ON PODIUM AT LAGUNA SECA MONTEREY, CA. (October 15, 2005) Team ADT Champion Racing has finished every race in the American Le Mans Series on the podium this year so it was no surprise when Frank...

TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING FINISHES THE SEASON ON PODIUM AT LAGUNA SECA

MONTEREY, CA. (October 15, 2005) Team ADT Champion Racing has finished every race in the American Le Mans Series on the podium this year so it was no surprise when Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro, drivers of the No. 2 Audi R8, stood proudly on top the podium in second position. Unfortunately the same could not be said for the sister car piloted by JJ Lehto and Frank Biela which finished in 4th position.

It is without a doubt that the season finale at Laguna Seca proved to be the most exciting race of the 10-race season. The 28-car field sliced and diced their way around the 2.238 mile road course the entire four hours including the last hour in darkness. From flag to flag the lead changes were numerous and throughout most of the race the top 5 cars in the LMP1 class including the new Porsche RS Spyder in the LMP2 class stayed close together even when they were weaving through traffic.

It was strategy and tactics that made the difference in the finishing order for the two ADT Champion Racing Audis. Car No. 1 opted to stay out during the second caution period while car No. 2 came in for fuel. In the end, car No. 1 didn't have enough fuel to finish the race and with 10 minutes left in the session, Lehto had to bring the car into the pits for fuel.

"This season is one that probably could not be duplicated," said and elated Dave Maraj, Team Owner/Champion Racing. "We won the three most important sports car races: the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. Two of our drivers won the Driver's Championship (Biela/Pirro), Team ADT Champion Racing won their 2nd Team Championship and we gave Audi their 6th Manufacturer's Championship. It's been quite a year for Champion Racing."

DRIVER QUOTES:

TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #1

JJ Lehto (Fin). Age: 39
"The race was exciting because overtaking was extremely hard this year. I had quite an incident going off track with the car but fortunately there was no damage so I just continued. Unfortunately our strategy wasn't as good today as car #2 and I lost good time trying to conserve fuel to make it to the end. It just didn't work for us today."

Marco Werner (D)
"In the beginning everything seemed okay. At the end we didn't have enough fuel, which cost us a podium position. This race was just like the whole season for us. So I guess our bad luck continued. I look forward to next year and want to thank my team for a great year."

TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #2

Frank Biela (D)
"I'm very happy. We won the Drivers Championship a race ago and coming here our goal was to be on the podium so finishing 2nd is not too bad. It was a fantastic season for me and I really hope to be back next season."

Emanuele Pirro (It)
"It's been an incredible finish to an incredible season. We did a very good race and the Zytek was just too fast to catch. We had perfect strategy, lots of overtaking and I am so proud of this team. It's a great way to finish a great year."

-cr/audi-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Frank Biela , Marco Werner , Dave Maraj , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto